It has been a long time since Asseco Arka Gdynia fans have celebrated a road victory in the 7DAYS EuroCup. And the leaders of the Polish team hope their breakthrough 74-78 win at EWE Baskets Oldenburg can help the club return to its former glory.
Arka last beat a EuroCup team on the road in December 2003 when it bested Brighton Bears. The Polish club played in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for the next nine seasons, including an appearance in the 2010 playoffs, thanks to nine straight domestic crowns. Arka had not returned to European competition until last season, when it had a 1- EuroCup triumph, with a lone home triumph over Limoges CSP to its credit.
Arka head coach Przemysław Frasunkiewicz hopes that Tuesday's win, which some of the team's fans traveled to witness, will be the start of something new.
"I'm really proud of my players after the first half, when we were kind of nervous and tight. We believed that we could win the game and we followed our game plan. And I hope this can help us build something special for the future," Frasunkiewicz said.
Arka does not have an easy road in Group D, which also includes Unicaja Malaga, Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, Dolomiti Energia Trento and Galatasaray Doga Sigorta Istanbul. But that doesn't mean the Polish team cannot have confidence -- just like it did coming to northern Germany.
"I'm excited for this club," said Josh Bostic, who collected 21 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in the victory. "It's a big win, but we came here expecting to win. We didn't just come here to lay down."
The 32-year-old guard, in his third EuroCup season after playing with Arka last season and Elan Chalon sur Saone in 2013-14, also promised that Arka fans can expect more from him.
"I told (Frasunkiewicz) I have to be better, and I will be better. As a leader, I made too many mistakes. It's just early in the season, early jitters. But I told him I will be better as a leader," said Bostic, who did commit 7 turnovers. "We have young guys on our team and I have to be a better leader. I'm just happy we have a tough group of guys, who are hungry, who fight to the very end."
And hopefully that end can be the start of something new and better in Gdynia.